As every aspect of our lives becomes increasingly digitised, some are beginning to wonder when this paperless environment that surrounds us all will seep into the world of office printing. Despite the rise of digital printing, the world is not anywhere near to accepting a paperless future – no, office printing is central to business, and this is the way it is expected to stay.
Almost as testament to this, printing is the third highest expense of most companies, behind payroll and rent. Small businesses are no different to their larger counterparts, and will still rely on printing to a great degree. Due to their obvious differences however, smaller businesses will place more importance on different aspects of printers, like their cost per page or compactness. This article will explain the different printer options available to SMEs.
What SMEs Need In A Printer
The needs of every business will be different, some SMEs might require a compact AIO (all in one) that is able to handle all the tasks required from it whilst also saving space and money. That being said, others may prefer a dedicated in-house printer that can provide the quality they are looking for as well as the general demands of an office.
The most important aspect all SMEs should look for in a printer, whether that be an AIOs or an MFP (multi-function printers) is the ability to effectively scale alongside your business’s growth. Naturally as a business grows, greater demands will be placed on the office, a printer must be able to keep up with these increasing demands.
The printer should balance affordability with features and performance; ideally, you should be looking for a machine that is fairly inexpensive to buy and keep running, but bear in mind the sacrifices in quality and speed this may incur.
The Different Options
Xerox VersaLink C400DN
The VersaLink C400 is designed for particularly busy SMEs, offering features unavailable on other standard laser printers. As an example, the printer incorporates a touchscreen for added ease of navigation around the printer’s functions. The printer also completes its operations quite quickly and its main paper tray has a capacity of 550 A4 sheets.
In addition to this, further paper trays and even a base with wheels can be added due to this product’s modular design. Whilst quite dear to purchase and keep running, the quality of its prints is unparalleled, especially its colour reproduction. This price does mean that it is far more suitable for SMEs on the bigger or more successful side that can justify the expense.
This robust LED printer is a far more cost-effective alternative to the aforementioned model. Whilst not expensive, it is capable of performing every feature an SME could possibly desire; duplex prints, scan stacks up to 50 pages big and connection via Wi-Fi and AirPrint covered.
With a touchscreen interface and host of USB ports the only technologies absent are doubled sided scanning and an NFC module. It is able to print extremely quickly and can fit 250 A4 sheets in its main tray. This makes it perfect for any busy SME on a budget.
HP PageWide Pro 477dw
HP’s PageWide series of printers are inkjets, but since the print head spans the paper’s full width, they perform more like lasers as the documents don’t need to stop and start like a normal inkjet. Instead the sheets are able to glide through elegantly, which enables the incredible advertised print speed of 55 pages per minute.
Since this machine is an inkjet, it is able to handle photo paper due to its incredible delivery of vibrant colour images. On top of this it is also capable of scanning double-sided pages automatically and comes with a generous 500-sheets tray capacity by default, with the option for further upgrades available. However, even without such additions, this fast and innovative printer is perfectly suited to a busy SME willing to spend a little extra for some added benefits.
HP Colour Laser MFP 179fnw
According to its manufacturer, this colour laser printer is the most compact of any in its class, making it perfect for SMEs with limited office space. Furthermore, its competitive price point combined with low running costs if the user opts for the larger cartridges.
Of course cost will always be something SMEs are particularly conscious of, which is why online resources enabling businesses to save on toner cartridges are always in demand. Such websites sell their own brand of cartridges that are compatible with a number of popular printers that cost nearly half the price of their branded counterparts.